Neil Young-On the Beach (DVD-Audio) (1974) (NTSC)

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Postponed from Sale

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Lyrics
Gallery-Photo
Discography
Web Links
Credits
Easter Egg-EP covers from around the world
Rating ?
Year Of Production 1974
Running Time 39:34
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring None Given
Case ?
RPI ? Music Neil Young


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English MLP 176.4/24 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    I'll make an admission:  I'm not qualified to review this disc. In terms of a technical evaluation I have no problem, but I know that I'll never do service to the album and its place in rock and roll history. But still, I'll do my best...

    Born in Canada in 1945, Neil Young has been at the forefront of rock over the years. His early start was in Toronto with bands like The Squires and The Mynah Birds, which lead to him signing up with Buffalo Springfield in 1966. This joining with Buffalo Springfield also led to Neil meeting Stephen Stills, a singer and songwriter that he would work with many times over the years.

    Along with the recordings with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Neil's solo catalogue would be one of the most diverse and critically acclaimed bodies of work in rock music. From the lauded 1972 album Harvest to his collaboration with Pearl Jam (Mirror Ball) in 1995, Neil has always done his own thing, and it's up to us to go along for the ride if we wish. Strangely, of all the Neil Young albums that were not re-released in recent years, On the Beach is perhaps one of his most memorable. There were 4 albums that hadn't seen the light of day (and hadn't seen a release in ANY digital form) since their initial release: On the Beach, American Stars 'n' Bars, Hawks & Doves and Re-ac-tor. Recorded in 1974, On the Beach embodies the raw and 'real' sound that music has for the most part long since abandoned.

    For me, this album is like a time machine. It takes the listener back to a different era where you think that things were quite a bit different from now, but in fact weren't all that different after all. This is a good album that should be right up there on the 'to get' list of any Neil Young fan.

    For those who need a bit more in-depth information on this album and the artist, here is a great link that might help:  

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Track Listing

1. Walk On
2. See The Sky About To Rain
3. Revolution Blues
4. For The Turnstiles
5. Vampire Blues
6. On The Beach
7. Motion Pictures
8. Ambulance Blues

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video content here is fairly limited, as is the case with most DVD-Audio discs.

    This disc features NTSC video, but it's nice to see that what we do have is 16x9 enhanced. This includes black and white images that accompany each track on the disc. There is a little bit of colour here and there, and it looks okay, but this is limited to the album cover based menus. Each track gets its own black and white image, which is static. In fact, every image on this disc is static. There is no moving video anywhere on this disc.

Audio

    The audio for this disc is quite faithful to the original recording and does not benefit (or suffer) from any unusual multi-channel remixing. This makes for a purer sound experience as the material lends itself to the 2 channel format rather than the potentially gimmicky 5.1 format.

    There are 2 audio options on this disc, these being an English Linear PCM 48kHz/16bit 2.0 track running at 1536Kb/s (for normal DVD player playback) and a high resolution MLP 176.4kHz/24bit 2.0 track. I listened to the 176.4kHz/24bit track through several times whilst I sampled the PCM track on a few tracks.

    I found the audio mix here to be quite good, in a sort of nostalgic fashion. This isn't the benchmark for pure audio, but it is a quite good transfer of the original 2 track material. The DVD credits specify that the sound engineers did their best to keep to keep the transfer as clean and pure as possible so as to accurately convey the original sound. I believe that they did a good job.

    There is a good deal of channel separation here, with various instruments coming from different sides of the soundstage, whilst the vocals are clearly located front centre.

    The overall fidelity of the recording shows its age. You can tell by listening that this was recorded in a particular time or era. This is in contrast to something like the Eagles Hotel California DVD-Audio disc which has the sound of having been recorded yesterday. This is not to say that the sound of this album is a bad thing. Indeed, I think that the limitations of the original equipment add an auditory element to the sound that is in some ways appealing. Just don't expect super crystal clear perfect transparent audio. There is a bit of distortion here, but it sounds intentional.

    Being a 2.0 mix, there isn't any surround information here, nor is there any dedicated LFE channel. This doesn't seem to be a problem with the material, as 2.0 is the format in which it was intended to be heard. Full sized main speakers of good quality will be able to convey the sound of this disc well.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are a number of extras available on this disc.

Menu

    The disc defaults to playback from the start, but selecting the menu button on your remote will bring up the disc's Main Menu which offers the following:     The menus are silent, static and are 16x9 enhanced.

    Upon selecting the Extras icon, you are presented with the following selections:

Easter Egg

    If you highlight the beach chair next to Neil Young on the Main Menu, you are treated to some overseas cover art for three Neil Young albums, including the Mexican version of On The Beach (En La Playa), an EP from Taiwan and the German 7" single for Walk On.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The DVD-Audio format is identical around the globe and discs are region free. As far as I am aware, this title has been postponed from release in Region 4, so if you want it, you'll have to import it yourself. Thankfully, you will get exactly the same disc no matter where it comes from, so buy with confidence from whomever has the best price.

Summary

    This is a classic album that has been a long time coming to the digital format. Many fans can now retire their worn copies of vinyl that they've had for 30 years and hear the album like it was meant to be heard. Good ol' 2.0 still has a lot going for it, and this disc will take you back to another time.

    The video is adequate (not all that important, really)

    The audio is good if you take into consideration the age of the material and the equipment used to record it.

    There are a couple of extras, but nothing over the top.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Sean Bradford (There is no bio.)
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD RP-82 with DVD-Audio on board, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko TRW 325 / 32 SFT 10 76cm (32") 16x9. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderYamaha RX-V2300 Dolby Digital and dts. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationYamaha RX-V2300 110w X 6 connected via optical cable and shielded RCA (gold plated) connects for DVD-Audio
SpeakersVAF DC-X Fronts (bi-wired), VAF DC-6 Center, VAF DC-2 Rears, VAF LFE-07 Sub (Dual Amp. 80w x 2)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Neil's best album - An extremely dedicated NY fan